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The Monotype Collection

Discover how a pioneering company called The Monotype Corporation made the printed word far easier to produce by mechanising the process of casting and composing metal type for printing.

For hundreds of years type was cast as individual pieces and set by hand. Patented in 1887, the Monotype system revolutionised the process. Its hot-metal technology allowed letterpress printers to quickly create their own fresh type for use in books, newspapers and adverts. Monotype designed and produced over 700 typefaces for use with its machines which were offered to customers for most of the twentieth century.

The Monotype Collection contains business records, specialised machinery, and the patterns, punches and matrices needed to make type.

Watch

The Monotype Collection: a brief history

This film tells the story of the company that invented machines for producing metal printing type and explores how this revolutionary hot-metal technology developed by The Monotype Corporation has been preserved to this day.

The Monotype System: from design to the printed word

This film takes a close look at the precise operations involved in making a piece of metal type.